A clause-by-clause review of the cross-strait service trade pact was supported by a majority of respondents in a poll released yesterday, and almost half said the pact would pose a significant national security threat if passed.
Asked how they viewed the service trade pact — which is awaiting legislative review before taking effect — 73.7 percent said they supported a line-by-line review, while 10.2 percent said the deal should be put to a vote as a package and 16.1 percent did not give an opinion in the survey conducted by Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR)
Overall, 44.5 percent of the respondents said they did not support the trade pact, with 32.8 percent supportive and 22.9 percent not giving an answer.
Respondents expressed greater concern toward the deal’s impact on national security and sovereignty, with 50 percent saying it would pose more disadvantages than advantages in those areas.
Opinions about the economic impacts were mixed, as 32.7 percent of the respondents said economic advantages would outweigh the disadvantages, while 25.8 percent had the opposite view. A further 4.9 percent said the disadvantages and advantages were about equal and 26.6 percent declined to answer.
On the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City, 59.4 percent supported at least a temporary suspension of construction, up 1.4 percent from a similar poll in March last year.
Of the respondents, 33.2 percent called for a permanent suspension. A further 17.4 percent said construction should be temporarily suspended until the plant passes safety checks and 8.8 percent said the suspension should remain until the decision of a national referendum.
Less than a quarter, or 23.4 percent, supported completing the construction, including 21 percent who said that the plant should be in operation. A further 2.4 percent said it should be completed, but not put into operation.
The survey also put President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) latest approval rating at 14.3 percent, with a disapproval rating of 74.9 percent.
Meanwhile, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) received almost the lowest support rate since he assumed the position in February last year, with an approval rate of 15.3 percent, only 0.2 percentage points higher than his lowest record in September last year.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
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